The latest film from David DeCoteau sees him take a slight change of direction whilst still managing to retain all of the elements that have made his films so popular amongst genre fans.
Ring of Darkness is essentially 'Horror Idol' as the film revolves around boy band Take 10 as they try to recruit a new member after their lead singer is forced 'into rehab' a.k.a. brutally murdered by his fellow band mates.
The film then sees three young guys have to fight for the chance to be lead singer and for their lives!!
The film differs from the norm in that it has a lot more intentional comedy and is largely set during the day, something that never normally happens in DeCoteau's recent teen horror movies. This allows for some experimental camera work, nice location work and all in all helps to create a sense of Summer fun.
The casting here is very good also, with appearances from some DeCoteau regulars including 'Jeepers Creepers 2' star Josh Hammond returning a favour by playing the aptly named 'lousy contestant' and Baywatch star Jeremy Jackson, not to mention the excellent Adrienne Barbeau who I certainly can't recall seeing in the genre since 2000's excellent 'The Convent'.
This time around I am also happy to report more female flesh for the boys and even some surprising twists and turns.
Despite the changes, the film lags a little especially in it's earlier stages as I felt it spent too long in the audition process, but then that is always the reason why people watch shows like Pop Idol.
The film looks good and is complimented by more excellent work from Jojo and Danny Draven in the scoring, editing and sound departments respectively.
In the end, Ring of Darkness is one of David's more accomplished efforts and is hopefully a sign of things to come, especially now that he is making more female driven horror movies such as the forthcoming 'Witches of the Caribbean' and 'The Sisterhood'. The only thing that left me puzzled was the fact that despite being released by a larger distribution company here in the UK, Blockbuster only had one VHS copy?